An Exclusive Peek Into #Marketing Your Book for #Authors: #Twitter #socialmediamarketing

Twitter Marketing

“What is the secret to marketing my book without looking like an idiot?”


I see this question a lot on Twitter and various blogs I subscribe to.  In this age of self-publishing, the world is filled with authors trying to sell their books.  Everyone wants to know the secret and to increase sales.  I am asked this question often and as I am maneuvering this great big world of book marketing as an author, I have to rely on my experience as a professional Twitter marketer to navigate and advice others.


Twitter is a mystery for many writers/authors and I hope that I can shed some light on how to market your book successfully.  Twitter, at its core, is a meeting place of conversations.  Think of it as a social club for the world.  There are over 330 million active monthly registered Twitter users and the average number tweets per day is 500 million.  Twitter is unique in its ability to connect people from around the world in seconds.  People tweet about everything under the sun and it is a very powerful tool for a small business.


How can you get noticed on Twitter with a crowd that big?


Here are my top five ways Writers/Authors can get noticed:


1- Be yourself.  Are you witty, funny, sarcastic, serious or a combination of any of those?  Tweet about everyday musings.  People love connecting with others and if you are yourself, people will appreciate it. In my experience, the more mundane, the better.   Don’t try to be something you aren’t or try to be what you think readers will want to hear.  I am myself aka MRS N on Twitter and I tweet about a lot of things.  I have met a lot of friends on Twitter and they are part of my core following.  Why?  Because they are intrigued and like me for me.


2- Be creative in your tweets.  You are a writer and have a wonderful talent with words.  Craft tweets that would excite you and would interest you in learning more. You now have 280 characters in which to spread your message to the masses.  I try to tweet in such a way that grabs people and makes them click on a link.  Don’t be boring and just tweet out your book title, info and link.  That is considered spam in Twitter and will likely be ignored. Here’s an example of one of my book tweets:



3- Be engaging.  Ask questions.  Tweet fun writing/reading stats.  Inquire after your followers well-being.  If you follow me on Twitter (like many of you already do), you know that I say good morning every day as well as try to engage with various followers.  If someone retweets one of my tweets, I like the tweet.  If someone puts out a tweet that something bad/good happened, I will try to reply.  Why?  I like to interact with my followers.  It makes me seem like more of a person than a robot.  It’s the human response and many of my followers appreciate it.


4- Quality is the name of the game, not quantity.  Many people get hung up on how many followers they have.  I have never been like that and have always tried to bring a part of myself to Twitter.  I am connecting with people, not beefing up my stats.  Sure, it’s nice when a tweet of mine gets retweeted a lot.  But that is not my goal.  My goal is to be authentic and it comes across in my tweets.  Do not follow others just so they can follow you back.  Follow people because they interest you.  I tend to follow back a lot of people because I am open to interacting with them.


5- Use Twitter’s secret weapon: the hashtag.  What is a hashtag?  # is a hashtag and when you use keywords like #writing, #amwriting, #writers, #books, #romance, genre, etc. You’re allowing people to find you via the hashtag.  I am a HUGE proponent of the hashtag!  It works wonders and it brings new followers to your Twitter feed and thus will expose them to you and your amazing book(s).  It has been so successful that even other social media platforms are using the hashtag.  Think of it as your own personal Google search.  Many Twitter people follow certain hashtag subjects and your tweets will show up if you remember to use the hashtag.


Final Thoughts: Many writers/authors think that they need to be on every social media site from Facebook to Twitter to Google+ to Pinterest in order to reach readers.  This is not the case and I suggest you pick a few and stick with those (unless you have all the time in the world).  Your time as a writer/author is limited and it’s best to concentrate on your writing.  All the marketing in the world cannot take the place of a well-written book.  Remember you are a writer first and a marketer second.  Concentrate on the writing and the rest will sort itself out.


Marketing doesn’t have to be scary and as long as you are yourself, the readers will find you!


Do you have any Twitter marketing questions/tips?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


Just in Time for #BacktoSchool: 26 Writing Tips for Every Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG

Writing Tips A to Z


Back to School fever has hit and I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share some Writing Tips with you.  Writing, like everything else, takes practice.  Once you master one area, you become better at it until it becomes second nature.  So grab your yellow #2 pencils and let’s get started…


A- Advice is everywhere, thanks to social media.  30+ years ago, it was much harder to tread through the publishing waters.  You had to paddle your way through and it was very difficult to be a successful writer.  Today is very different.  I recommend asking a lot of successful writers, agents, publishers questions.  Most of them appreciate that you’re simply asking a question. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more likely you will succeed.


B- Blogging is a great way to not only promote your writing but to improve your writing as well.  What should you write about? Many blogs are all over the place and as a reader, it can be confusing.  I choose to write about a few key areas (my book, my writing and inspiring thoughts of the day).  I find that keying in on a specialized area brings more followers and is not confusing.


C- Creative writing ideas can come from anywhere.  You could be walking down the street and BOOM, an idea hits.  You want to write it down so you don’t forget but you don’t have anything to write on.  Bring a notepad/sticky notes wherever you go.  Use your notepad app on your device.  Write it down as soon as it strikes you. Trust me, it helps immensely!


D- Dedicate a specific time of the day for writing.  I know that this may sound obvious but trust me, life tends to intervene in your writing time.  I schedule a block of time every day and call the appointment “writing”.  You will get into a routine and your brain will register that it is 2:00…time for writing.




E- Editing is hard.  It is one of the most gruesome tasks a writer has to do.  It is absolutely essential, though.  Think of it in terms of gemology.  All jewels/gems come out of the ground and they look very dirty/plain/ordinary.  Take a chisel and start peeling away layer after layer.  Once that is complete, you take a buffing stone and polish the jewel/gem to a brilliant shine.  When you are done, you have a shiny beautiful exceptional jewel/gem.  The same can be said for editing.  It’s painful but you have to do it to reveal the diamond in your writing.


F- Family/Friends are great support and I recommend that you tell them about your writing venture.  They will not only be your cheerleaders but will understand when you have to excuse yourself to write.


G- Grammar is obviously important in all writing.  There are many resources out there and I have a few.  I urge you, though, to not get caught up in proper grammar rules when writing.  It can stifle the creative juices and I recommend dealing with the grammar when you are editing/revising.


H-Harness your inner Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest writers in the 20th century and he is one of my favorites.  He approached writing in a logical way.  He wrote what he knew or experienced.  He was an observer of the world and it shows in his writing.  Do the same, no matter what your topic is.



I– Inspiration is one of the greatest tools a writer has.  Inspiration sparks a book idea, writing style, dialogue, plot and voice.  What’s your inspiration?  Whatever it is, clutch it tightly to your heart and never let it go.


J-Judge your writing as if you are a seeing it for the first time.  I am my hardest critic.  Most of my writerly friends are the same way.  We’re so harsh on ourselves and sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.  Take another approach and look carefully at your writing as if you were a literary critic.  Pretend it’s not your writing but someone you don’t know.  This works great, trust me!  You will see your writing in a whole new light.


K- Keep detailed notes about your book.  Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, you need to keep track of everything.  I find this extremely helpful when writing fiction.  I have a hard time keeping track of all the characters and their names so I write their names and a one sentence bio on them in a notebook.  It makes things a lot easier the further I get into the plot.


L- Locate your writing haven.  This may seem like a pipe dream but I promise you this works.  A writer needs a space where they can call their own.  It maybe outside or in your home office.  Wherever it is, make it yours.  I have a writing haven and it has everything I need: nice view of the trees outside, sticky notes, inspiring writing quotes, a writing bear figurine for inspiration and a few notepads.  Make it your own haven and then watch as the ideas just pour out of you!


M- Mentors are a great way to learn about the publishing business but writing as well.  I have several and I met them online.  They’re so invaluable to me and they truly make me a better writer!  Grab one and listen carefully to what they tell you.  Their insight and comments will make you a better writer, too.


N- Narrative is very important in writing, especially when writing a novel.  Be sure you determine ahead of time whether you are writing first-person or third-person.  The reader should never be confused by the narrative.




O- Outline your book.  I know this may sound like work and in essence, it is.  Writing is hard work and if you don’t have a general idea of what you want to say, your writing will be all over the place.  It doesn’t have to be complicated and list every single aspect of your plot.  It should contain these five things: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action & Resolution.


P-Publishing your writing is so exciting but it can be daunting too.  There are so many options out there and it can be confusing.  My advice, do your homework.  Research all areas of publishing before making a decision.  There are many resources on Twitter to help you out. If you need advice, send me an email and we can talk further.


Q-Querying can be a nightmarish task.  Many writers don’t know how to do it and I am here to help.  You have to think of it in business terms.  A query is like an application and cover letter for your dream job.  You’ve got to grab their attention, be professional and for pete’s sake, don’t query an agent/publisher on Twitter. A query is your first impression and trust me, it matters!


R- Revising your writing is hard and it can be emotional too.  I mean, those are your words and your dialogue.  It takes blood, sweat and tears.  Being a writer means you are willing to open your chest, lay your heart on paper and wait for the world to judge it.  Like editing, though, it must be done.  You want your writing to shine like a diamond, right?  You want to make an impact and inspire others.  Just do it!


S- Social Media is a great tool for writers but you have to be careful.  Everything you post is saved by Google and agents/publishers/readers/reviewers will see it.  I love Twitter and it can be a great tool for your writing platform and to also connect with other writers.


Plath writing quote


T- Trust in yourself and your writing.  I am guilty of being unsure of my writing and it has led to some self-doubt.  Trust in yourself and everything else will fall into place.  You are your number one cheerleader and no can tell a story like you!


U-Unleash Your Emotions.  As a writer, you need to be able to connect with your readers.  The only way to do that is to be free of any constrictions.  Let the floodgates go and let your emotions run free!  It is the key to being an authentic writer.


V- Visualize your scenes as if you were watching a movie.  When I am writing, I find it immensely helpful to close my eyes.  I let the scene I’m working on play out in my mind and then I let my fingers write it down before I lose the imagery.  In this age of YouTube, it is very effective for writing.


W-Warning to all Writers: Not everyone will love your writing and some may in fact hate it.  It’s a reality and as writers, we must remind ourselves of this.  Remember, just because someone doesn’t like your writing doesn’t mean it isn’t brilliant. Please also remember to remain professional and don’t lash out at those who don’t like your writing/story.  Go online and check out the reviews of your favorite author.  Then keep on writing!


X- Xchange ideas with other writers.  This may sound weird but it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to bounce ideas off other writers.  Writers understand better than a normal person.  You can do this virtually or live.  They include writing groups, workshops and conferences.  They are a great way to learn more about writing but also how to make your writing better.



Y- Yield to your inner voice.  This is your writing muse and it will tell you in a soft voice which path to choose.  I listen to mine and allow her to guide my writing.  She leads me down a path I didn’t know existed and it’s a wondrous place to be.  Can’t hear your muse?  Be still and maybe meditate/pray/sleep.  Clear your head of all distractions and your muse will appear.


Z-Zzzz.  When you are stuck in your writing, it helps to sleep on it.  I do this many times when writing my current book and trust me, it helps!  When you sleep, your subconscious is awake and working out the plot while you’re at rest.  In the morning, you will feel refreshed and the ideas will flow like water.


Calling all writers: share a writer tip using the comment section below. We all could use a tip or two to be better writers, no matter how long we’ve been writing/publishing.


TAG: Rapid Fire Books (Mrs. N Talks #books) #bookbloggers #amreading #IARTG #ASMSG

Rapid Fire Book Tag


Many thanks to this-is-my-truth-now for posting this tag and encouraging me to give it a chance. Please check out Jay’s blog, for he is a prolific reader/reviewer and a writer, too. He loves books and is so friendly. I highly recommend his blog. This one is the Rapid Fire Book Tag and it was originally created by GirlReading over Youtube, so be sure to stop by and check her out HERE.


Question 1: E-Book or Physical Book?

Call me old school, but I still love reading physical books. I read e-books professionally and for pleasure because, well, they’re free or 99 cents. But if I have a choice, I will always choose to read a physical book. There’s something primitive about holding a book in your hands and smelling the paper. Yes, I confess, I’m a total book sniffer.


Question 2 : Paperback or Hardback?

Hardback. Why? Honestly, they hold up better. I’ve been known to break book spines through reading a book repeatedly and the paperbacks don’t hold up like they used to.


Question 3 : Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

I will always love in-store book shopping better than online shopping. Again, it’s about the experience of browsing for books. It’s not the same browsing online. But with all the book shops closed in our corner of the world, I don’t have the luxury of spending hours in a book store. It’s a shame, really, when you think about it. I keep hoping Amazon will start opening book stores in Canada soon.


Question 4 : Trilogies or Series?

I’m a fan of series more so than trilogies. If I like a particular series, I never want it to end. I want it to go on forever, especially if the writing is good.


Question 5 : Heroes or Villains?

Call me cute but I love the villain. I love seeing just how badass he/she can be.


Question 6 : A book you want everyone to read?

You mean besides Princess of the Light? Lol! Just kidding…

Hmm, I think I everyone should read The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis. It’s a beautiful examination of the four different kinds of love: empathy, friend, romantic, spiritual. I’ve read it several times and each time, I glean new insight.


Question 7 : Recommend an underrated book?

Rise of the Prince (Pearseus #1) by Nicholas C. Rossis. A fantasy gem that is ground-breaking and will be a classic twenty years from now.


Question 8 : The last book you finished?

Rolf’s Quest by Aubrey Wynne. Review to come tomorrow.


Question 9 :The Last Book(s) You Bought?

Physical book – A Harlequin Intrigue book (can’t remember the title)

E-Book –  Resisting Nick: New Zealand friends to lovers sexy reunion romance (Wicked in Wellington Book 3) by Kris Pearson


Question 10 : Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

A candy bar wrapper, Snickers. Chocolate and reading go hand in hand.


Question 11 : Used Books: Yes or No?

Yes! I love used books and have discovered many new-to-me authors through used book stores.


Question 12 : Top Three Favorite Genres?

Historical Romance

Romantic Comedy

Romantic Suspense


Question 13 : Borrow or Buy?

Always buy. I’ve only ever borrowed physical books from the library.


Question 14 : Characters or Plot?

Characters will always drive the plot. For me, the plot can be similar from book to book but the characters are what makes each book unique.


Question 15 : Long or Short Books?

I used to love long books but as my free time gets shorter and shorter, I prefer short or shorter books.


Question 16 : Long or Short Chapters?

A chapter’s length doesn’t really matter to me. Long, short and in between… all that matters is that they break at the appropriate time. Nothing gets me madder than the chapter ending in the middle of scene.


Question 17 : Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie

Only a Hero Will Do by Alanna Lucas (need to write up a review)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (umm, don’t ask – tummy rumbles)


Question 18 : Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Laugh – Shopaholic series, anything by D. E. Haggerty, Julie Kent

Cry – The Du Lac Devil by Mary Anne Yarde, The Time Travellers Wife, 18 Reasons


Question 19 : Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional Worlds, hands down. Today’s world is so violent and filled with hate so I escape through fiction.


Question 20 : Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Not really. I used to do audiobooks when I commuted to work but since I work from home now, I much prefer to read than listen.


Question 21 : Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

You bet! I love book covers and have bought books based on the cover alone. Sometimes it comes back to bite me in the bum but I can’t resist a cover that whets my appetite.


Question 22 : Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Either one. As a rule, the adaptations are far inferior to reading the book. Inevitably, scenes and characters get cut and it’s a shame.


Question 23 : A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Pride and Prejudice (BBC adaptation with Colin Firth and Jennifer Erle)


Question 24 : Series or Standalone?

I much-prefer standalone. I’m a voracious reader and I love entering a new world with each book. Occasionally, I enjoy a series but as a rule, I prefer standalones. I like the trend right now of standalones with returning characters. It’s the blend of the two and I love it.


I’m not going to tag anyone but if you feel like it, please take a few moments and answer the questions. Book bloggers, authors, reviewers, c’mon and take part!  I had a blast with it. Of course, as many of you know, I love talking about books and reading. 😊


Are You Living a Fake Life? If so, Step Into the Truth; it’s More Fun! #inspiration

fake it

Are you leading a fake life, whether in person on online?

I read an article this morning about the prevalence of fake lives. I don’t mean people living two lives (due to infidelity or what have you) but people creating a whole new life in order to appear … well … better/happier/successful. It’s happening more and more in the blogging community. One mommy blogger confessed all back in 2016 and it made all the news circuits. Here’s her story:

Do you know my first reaction to her story? Utter sadness. I mean, how much effort it took for her to create this “perfect happiness” when her own life was crumbling around her.

As authors/artists/creative folks, there’s an urge to create a fake life to go along with the author/blogger moniker. I mean, words are my talent so why not use words to create an ideal life to go along with the name N. N. Light?


When I started this blog back in 2012, I hadn’t a clue what to talk about. I had zero followers and was basically talking to myself. So, I asked MR N what to talk about.

His response: talk as if the world is listening.

Pretty profound, eh?

From the start, I’ve been 100% me on this blog and with every inspirational thought, I shared a part of myself with the world. The more I shared, the more followers I gained (thank you from the bottom of my heart) and the more excited I was to blog. I shared life’s ups and downs and tried to be as positive as possible. My words became more than just words; they empowered people.

The world is listening and wants you to be truthful. Granted, it can be scary and fearful to live in truth. There’ll be people who won’t agree with you, will want to slam you and make you feel miserable. Live in truth and be honest. Whatever you’re going through, if you share your feelings online, you might just be helping someone else going through the exact thing.

Bloggers, I urge you to be yourselves. Share your heartbreak, frustrations, failures as well as the positive stuff, too. You’ll be much happier and at peace, without having all that extra stress about keeping your stories straight. Plus, it’s a lot more fun living an authentic life, both online and in person. 


Meet @RobShackleford and his New Release, Traveller Inceptio #books #SFF #amreading



As many of you know, I love reading historical fiction. The reason? I love learning about history through the eyes of people who experienced it.  History comes alive, if well-researched and well-written. I first met Rob Shackleford a few months ago and was instantly intrigued. I convinced him to sit down with me for an honest interview. I’d ask some pretty tough questions and he’d have to answer them. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Rob Shackleford to the POTL Blog. Please give him a warm welcome. Take it away, Rob:


What is your writing process?

Perhaps the most important part of my process is research. My story involves detailed descriptions of the English Saxon world of around 11th Century. It also involves the Special Forces troops who are sent there. This has meant intensive research into both areas, ie History and the military. When it came to the 11th Century Saxon community, I had to learn what they ate, what were their attitudes to religion, what their homes were like, how they dressed, even their attitudes towards sex. Everything had to be researched to make the story stand up to any sort of scrutiny, especially scholarly scrutiny. Only then can the story be told with any degree of reliability.


Once the research was completed in the areas I targeted, the story could unfold. Many times I discovered I was writing the narrative in a direction I didn’t realise it would take. That then required more research. In my attempt to make the story as realistic as possible, the story involved some surprising developments, that is, it was surprising to me.


Once the story was told, I went back to rewrite, to improve grammar, description, and then develop speaking parts, which allowed for more character development and fine tuning of the events in the story.


Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I have always enjoyed the mind-broadening aspects of great science fiction works, so some of the classic authors such as H. G. Wells, Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert are just a few of the many who allowed me to submerge into bold new worlds and ideas. I have grown to better appreciate the difference between great storytelling from authors such as Stephen king, to true wordsmiths who paint a portrait with their breathtaking language, one who comes to mind is Yann Martel for the Life of Pi.


Other inspirations are found in islands of Robert Louis Stevenson, the humour of Mark Train, the insight of George Orwell, the razor-sharp social commentary of Jack Kerouac, to name but a few authors who changed the world.


I would be remiss not to mention J. K. Rolling and her epic Harry Potter tales, a legend in market adaptation and commercial success.


While I feebly aspire to develop my own creative writing skills, I opt to be a story teller, hopefully a great one. One day, I hope the two will merge.


What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Being an author is a tough gig. It takes time and lots of dedication. Most of all it takes belief in yourself, which can be the most challenging task of all. Think of it as a professional sportsperson. Sometimes one is discovered and shoots to the top of the charts, but most of the time any success is through the good, old fashioned hard slog. Even then, luck, or shall I say good fortune, is a part of being discovered.


Like most of the arts today, such as the music industry, or art, the process is so much tougher, so much longer. The days of million-dollar first book contracts are long gone.


With today’s technology we are so very fortunate to see the emergence of great authors, whether they are best sellers or not. The biggest challenge is to get your work out there, make it shine, and then do the marketing and get exposure. But don’t despair. Write your novel or your poetry. Give birth to your dream, and then learn and go through the process that the world requires of you. Even if you bring delight and inspiration to only one other, it will be worth it.


Are you a plotter or a pantster?

It seems I am a bit of both. I have the book’s broad structure in my head and then I develop the characters and chapters one step at a time. I need the broad structure so as to not ramble, but sometimes the story heads in a direction that surprises me. I don’t think it’s ghost writing. At least I hope it isn’t. It’s just describing the responses of humans placed in challenging situations.


What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Traveller Inceptio – which means “Beginning” in Latin, as spoken by the clergy in 11th Century England, lends itself to a sequel.


I have almost completed the first draft for Traveller Probo, which means ‘to inquire or prove’. All I can suggest is that the success of the English Traveller missions receives intense international attention and envy, causing nations to compete to engage in their own missions to send their own Travellers 1000 years into the past. It’s like a space-race, only a lot cheaper and easier.


But is this a wise course of action?  Who can say?


Traveller Probo examines the social and political consequences of the English Saxon mission, and how more missions are planned to send more Special Forces historical researchers to the world of 1000 years ago.



What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Once when working for the media they wanted someone who had driven racing cars to participate in a media race event. Though I was never any kind of media star, I fibbed and said I had the experience and was given the gig. On race-day, I couldn’t even change the gears, but once I was shown I did quite well, as none of the other media participants dared drive fast. I did bounce off the walls a few times and won the race, though the car owner wasn’t pleased as there were bold, new scratches down the side of his nicely painted yellow race-car.


It was, I must say, a worthwhile fib.




Didn’t hurt a bit – after having my teeth ground without anesthetic for caps by a dentist in India. I aged 5 years and dropped 2 kilos from sweat.


Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Crystallized Ginger, and Licorice (the British type). If you bring that stuff around, don’t expect me to share.


What literary character is most like you?

As a kid I was a bit like Tom Sawyer in that I managed to get things … done. When I was about 8 years old I recall being picked on by a kid, so I enlisted the abilities of a big, not too bright kid I barely knew to go into battle for me. They both got into trouble for fighting on the parade ground just as school parade was about to start. I was never picked on again.
My Teacher saw what had happened and, without me knowing, had a chat to my parents. Years later they told me about it. My dad thought it was the funniest thing ever.


If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A cat owned by my partner. She spoils that creature rotten. All I would have to do is avoid being gelded at the vet.


What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Here’s a few: See a tornado, Scuba dive with sharks – me in a shark cage that is, climb a live volcano, hike a glacier.




Title: Traveller Inceptio

Author: Rob Shackleford

Genre: Science Fiction, Historical, Action

Publisher: Book Baby – E Publishing only.


Book Blurb:

If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?


With the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.


Or is it to a possible past?


The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.


An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.


The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.


From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life.




Michael makes a chance meeting upon a lonely monk in the depths of the English forest.

The monk stood before Michael and wept in an open-mouthed cry that looked unlike grief or fear but looked more like … joy? He didn’t appear to be as afraid for his life as one would have thought when confronted by an armed man in the depths of the forest.


To make matters even more disconcerting, he moved forward until his face was but a hand’s breadth away from Michael. There was an impression of rotten teeth and bad breath, an almost a physical assault from which he immediately recoiled. Many of the monk’s teeth were missing. Obviously, he rarely shaved as his face was covered with stubble that could have been blonde or grey, so the man’s age was almost impossible to determine. Thick, grey hairs and pocked blackheads decorated the end of his bulbous nose as pale grey eyes gazed adoringly up at the newcomer. As the monk wept, Michael froze uncomfortably.


Without warning, the monk moved as if to give Michael a hug and it was all he could do to fend the smaller man off with raised hands. Thankfully the small man stopped at the last moment. There was no desire for any close contact with the damp wool that stank heavily. Quickly Michael scanned his surrounds as he realised this monk would be a perfect distraction for brigands, for he was completely immobilised by the man’s emotional reaction. As he watched aghast, the sobbing monk sank slowly to his knees while his tearful eyes never left Michael’s face. Tears poured down his weathered, whiskered cheeks and soon the childlike weeping began to distress. Michael had seen weeping in many places; weeping of mothers for sons, of fathers for children, but nothing quite as mysterious as this. He crouched in front of the monk and reached to touch the man’s grubby hands, his other hand still on his short-sword, just in case.


As he reached out, his hand was grasped and held by the monk’s hard, heavily veined hands with swollen arthritic knuckles, hands obviously aggravated by a life of hard physical labour. Before he could react, the monk kissed his hand passionately. He felt the bristly face and a damp slobber of snot and his initial reaction to pull away. He uncomfortably patted the monk’s shoulder and made soothing noises before he retrieved his hand and stood as he encouraged the other to rise. More kisses were threatened, so he hurriedly addressed the monk in Latin, supposing he could speak the lingua franca of clergy throughout Christendom. “Peace be unto you brother,” he said as he gave his slobbered hand a tactful wipe on the seat of his breaches.


“And to you” was the automatic sobbed response. There was an accent and the words were understood though, at first, difficult to decipher.


“What is your name?” asked Michael.


“My name?” the monk asked in a daze as if stunned at such a question. “Oeric, Lord, Brother Oeric,” he replied quietly as he briefly averted his eyes.


“Oeric. Greetings Brother Oeric my name is ..” and he paused. He knew it was best to provide his name in a format best suited to the local language. “My name is Michael.” He pronounced it ‘Meekal’ to give the pronunciation that he assumed would suit.


At the name, Brother Oeric wailed loudly and again placed his trembling, worn hands over his face. Before Michael could react, the man again fell to his knees and bent to place his face on the leaf litter. Michael again scanned the surrounding forest uncomfortably.


Indeed, they were alone.


He knelt and awkwardly patted the prostrate Brother Oeric on the shoulder. “Oeric, Brother Oeric, is something wrong? Why do you weep? Come now, stand and tell me, what is the matter?”


After a titanic struggle, Brother Oeric managed to retain some control. Rising to his knees he wiped his freely running nose and eyes on the cloth that hung over his chest, a simple square of wool with a head hole that was his scapula, designed to protect his long brown tunic. Michael noted the silver line of snot and decided that if another hug was attempted, that was good enough reason to keep the monk at arm’s-length. Brother Oeric wore a simple, one-piece robe of rough, raw, dark-brown wool that enabled him to blend effectively with the forest. Attached to his scapula was a cowl or large hood to offer protection from snow or rain in a fashion similar to the hood Michael wore on his own cloak. Michael watched the small man clutch his shaking hands together in a moment of muttered prayer before he looked up again. “Lord I give thanks that you are here”, he said with eyes that were again downcast. He paused and gazed adoringly at Michael, a look that was supposed to be a quick glance but which ended in a stare akin to wonder.




Buy Links:


Book Baby Bookshop—Inceptio




Author Biography:

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas.

Rob is father of two and lives on the Gold Coast.


Social Media Links:




Linked In

Google +




#Authors, Need Help With Book Promotion? We’re Running a Huge Sale! #books #marketing


Need some help with marketing and promotion? Now’s a great time to sign up for our services. Buy one service, get one (equal or less value) for free! That’s right, you save 50% off every single service. Here’s a list of our services and pricing:

Tier 2: Book/blog promotion and marketing for a small fee. You have the option of the following and the fee is $11.50 per service:

Author Interview

Author Spotlight

Book Spotlight (includes extended excerpt)

Book Series Spotlight

Cover Reveal

Trailer Reveal

Guest Post (your choice of topic)

Top Ten (your choice of topic)

Character Interview

Twitter Book Blast with Graphics (one day – 7 tweets- I’ll tweet about your book sale to my Twitter followers)

**NEW SERVICE: Twitter Sale Service (one day – 8 custom tweets – I’ll tweet about your book sale with cover/memes/graphics you provide)

Book Review by either Mr. N or Mrs. N (depending on when you need it by, a book review ranges in price)

  • 12 Weeks $11.50
  • 2 Weeks $85.50
  • Rush 3 Business Days $143.00


Amazon US Ranking as of March 1, 2017 is 20,648

Amazon CA Ranking as of March 1, 2017 is 4,492

Amazon UK Ranking as of March 1, 2017 is 60,867


Tier 3: Advertisement Button on the left sidebar. Authors and professionals in the book industry can advertise on this website for a super-low fee of $6 a week/$20 a month (plus Paypal and processing fees).

We’re also offering a Top Spot Advertisement Button for our clients. You will be at the very top of the sidebar and this is one spot only. First come, first serve.

  • 1 Month $50
  • 3 Months $135
  • 6 Months $240
  • 12 Months $450 (plus Paypal and processing fees)

Tier 4: Social Media Graphics and Memes. I am now offering a memes package plus Social Media Headers.

  • 5 memes using royalty-free images and quotes from your books $20 (plus Paypal and processing fees)
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  • Google+ Cover $5 (plus Paypal and processing fees)
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Tier 5: Social Media/Book Marketing Advice and Virtual Assistance. Need a marketing plan, someone to come to for advice or help you with various ghost writing projects? I can provide a solid marketing plan as well as help you with ghost writing guest posts, interviews, tweets and/or blog posts. The fee is $30/hour.

**NEW SERVICE: Tweet Package (tweet creation service – I’ll provide daily/weekly/monthly tweets for you to use; pricing on a case-by-case basis – email for a quote)

Note: You can sign up for multiple services and schedule them for an upcoming release later in the year.

If you’re interested please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch:

Friday Book Round-Up Reveals Mrs. N’s Top 10 Female Authors #FridayReads #books

Friday Book Round Up


Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. This week, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. It got me thinking about my favorite female authors. Many of these women inspired me to go after my dream of publishing and on a certain level, I consider them my mentors (even though we’ve never met). So, I wanted to honor these women here today with my very personal (feeling a little exposed here) list. The link is to their Amazon Author Page. Here is my top 10 in alphabetical order:


Jane Austen

My 8th grade English teacher introduced me to Jane Austen and I am forever grateful to him. Not only are Jane’s books poignant and beautifully-written, it was virtually unheard of for a woman to publish in those days. It was thanks to her brother that a publisher agreed to publish her. It was well-received and popular among the aristocrats. My favorite two novels are Pride and Prejudice as well as Emma.


The Bronte Sisters

Wuthering Heights was my introduction to Emily Bronte as well as her sisters. Each was gifted in their own right and like Jane Austen, they fought against societal prejudice to be published. Dark, brooding characters enduring heart-breaking tragedies is the theme of many of their stories. Romantic? Sure, if you’re not a fan of happily ever after. What makes their stories so memorable for me is that even though the sisters had a hard life, they obviously found joy in writing. It comes across is their descriptive plots and characters. My favorite novel is Wuthering Heights.


Candace Bushnell

I read Sex and the City when it was first published and was instantly in love with Bushnell’s honest approach to love, dating and being single in the big city. Her writing style appealed to me as a single gal trying to figure out what it meant when a guy said he would call and then didn’t. She’s one of my writing mentors because she ditched the cutesy women’s lit for brutally honest lit. I mean, it was refreshing to hear what other women think about oral sex and men who shower right after sex. Reading her books (and she has several now) is like curling up with a bunch of girlfriends and dishing the dirt. No pretense, just great storytelling. My favorite is her Sex and the City anthology.


Julia Cameron

The Artist’s Way caught my attention when I was working as a manager for a large bookstore. A friend of mine raved about how it helped her with her artwork. “Inspiring,” she said so I picked it up. Talk about changing my life… this book shook me with truths that were hidden deep within me. Yes, I could be the artist I craved to be; all it took was determination and not giving up. Cameron continues to inspire me on a daily basis. It’s thanks to her that I could work full-time, be a housewife and complete my first novel without losing my mind.


Agatha Christie Truth


Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha… what an inspiration! I fell in love with her mysteries at a young age, thanks to my mother. She’s an incredible woman who lived several lives in her lifetime. Independent, witty, honorable, she took ordinary people she met and incorporated them into her mysteries. A hero in my eyes because she wrote intricate mysteries with complex characters which kept the reader captivated until the last page. Both Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot are my two favorite detectives in literature and no, I can’t pick a favorite novel.


Jude Deveraux

When I was thirteen, I read my very first Jude Deveraux romance. I can close my eyes and remember the feeling of romance surging in my heart as I read The Black Lyon all those years ago. Being a sucker for history, her historical romances taught me what life might have been like back in the day. Sweeping romance, strong men and even stronger women filled the pages of Jude’s books. I swooned and imagined falling in love with a knight who would sweep me away from my dull and boring life. She’s the gold standard for all historical romances (in my opinion) and she taught me so much more about writing characters, tension and plot than all my teachers in school. I still idolize her and re-read The Knight in Shining Armor (my all-time favorite book) at least twice a year.


Syrie James

I first read Dracula, My Love and was instantly a fan of Syrie James’ writing style and ability to take a classic tale and put a new spin on it. Being a huge reader of historical fiction and historical romance, I love the way Syrie spins what’s familiar and brings new light to it. Her imagination is as big as my own and her ability to make a monster into a misunderstood lonely tragic character is uncanny. I’ve read every one of her books and while I wish I had the time to do all the research she does when writing, I’m in awe of how she makes historical figures come alive. She’s a writing mentor to me for her descriptive narration alone and I keep going back to her books to gain new insight. My favorite novel is Dracula, My Love.


Jennifer Weiner

Okay, here’s where this list gets personal. I’m a curvy woman and as a reader, I’ve spent most of my life reading about stick-thin heroines dealing with life. But then I read Good in Bed when it first came out. Mind Blown! Here’s a New York Bestselling Author describing in great detail the ups and down of a curvy woman’s search for love. Her writing isn’t cliché and tells it like it is. Hooray for curvy women everywhere! Jennifer taught me it’s okay to expose a part of myself in my writing. I’ve read every single book and my favorite is her latest release, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing.


Laura Ingalls Wilder

I was ten years old when I got the box set of Little House books from my grandparents. I inhaled each book and as the years went by, continued to re-read them. It tells the story of her pioneer life from little girl to married and a mother. I love these books because it’s Laura sharing a part of her growing up. There’s an authenticity to these stories that makes them irresistible. I learned so much about what life was like in those days from these books. Life was hard and you found happiness and joy in the small things. As a mentor, Laura is inspiring and honest. Her stories transport the reader because she’s sharing from the heart. I strive to bring that heart quality to every book I write.


Marianne Williamson

I have Oprah to thank for introducing me to Marianne Williamson. I remember this clearly: I was home sick with the flu and was watching Oprah. Her guest was a beautiful woman by the name of Marianne Williamson. She spoke of inner light, spirituality, love and being at peace. It was exactly the words I needed to hear. See, I didn’t really have the flu. I was filled with anxiety due to high school female bullies and faked being sick to avoid them. They tormented me and made my life miserable. All I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and become invisible. Peace and love were the furthest from my mind at that time. Marianne spoke of taking control of your life and not allowing outside forces to steal your joy. That was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. I’ve read all her books since then but the one book that continues to speak to me is Return to Love. Love, it states, is the centre of everything and everyone. I’ve embodied that in my writing and share that message through my blog every single day. Her lyrical prose aligns with my writing style and I’m so grateful to her message of peace. It saved my life.


Have a favorite female author to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!


MRS N, Book Addict


Reading: A Love Affair With Books! #inspiration #love #books


“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” –Vera Nazarian


If you were on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would it be?

I would bring MR N, an unlimited supply of chocolate and my full library of books.

I love books. It borderlines on an addiction. I love to read and my love affair with books began when I was still in my mother’s womb. She’s a voracious reader and would read constantly when she was pregnant with me. She passed this love for all things books to me and it was the best gift she’d give me.

Why do I love books?

I love how I can learn new things with a swipe of my finger. I love how I can travel all over the world (and other galaxies) any time of the week. I love how I can connect with someone thousands of miles away, living a life I couldn’t imagine. I love how I can escape my life for a little while. I can time travel without leaving my chair.

There’s a lot of talk about how people are reading less and frankly, that’s not true. Amazon would be out of business if that was the case. People are reading and buying books, not to mention going to libraries to read. They just don’t want to pay high prices.

The world and society are a better place when people read. It brings us closer and enlightens us. It’s a dangerous precipice when we start censoring books and reading.

So, pick up a book and read today. It doesn’t matter what genre or heat level, just read. You’ll be supporting hard-working authors and it’s a great way to take a break.

What’s your favorite book and/or genre? Answer in the box below. I’d love to hear what you’re reading.


#Authors: Get Real on #SocialMedia and Readers Will Respond #ASMSG #IARTG


“Marketing is first and foremost about connecting.” – Wendy Paine Miller

Today’s publishing market requires authors to wear several hats, one of them being marketer. For many authors, they haven’t a clue what to do or how to get the word out about their book(s). I see it all the time on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn; authors posting about their books in an unending stream of impersonal tweets and posts.


I shake my head because these authors miss the whole point. Social media is at its core, social. It’s a powerful marketing tool, if you know how to use it. Let me give you an example:

Back in 2012, I wrote my debut novel, Princess of the Light. When the time came to edit and publish it, I started chatting with some of my Twitter followers about it. Nothing major, just musings and observations. People started asking me more about it and I shared the story behind POTL. They were intrigued and as a result bought it when it was released. I’m proud to say they were my first readers and have been loyal ever since.

How did I do it? I made a connection and readers responded.

When I’m on social media, I’m a real person, not some robot. I talk about more than my books. I talk about baking, sports, what I’m reading, writing, editing, cooking, interesting articles I’ve read, news, politics, supporting food banks, the weather… the topics are endless. I’m being social and in this day and age of automation and technology, the simple act of saying good morning makes a huge impact.

So, what about book marketing?

I’m a writer and as a writer, I take great pride in crafting attention-grabbing tweets. Words are my thing and especially on Twitter, it’s a challenge to grab the reader by the collar so that they’ll want to click-through to learn more. I love it, though, because it hones my writing skills. I encourage all authors to try it.

Here are ten quick tips to help you get real on social media:

  • Use this formula when posting on social media – 20% book marketing, 10% small talk (weather, exercising, cooking, etc.), 30% retweets, 20% personal (I use this to post baking/cooking pics), 20% other interests (sports, hobbies, news, politics, etc.)


  • Post consistently on social media. I know time is a rare commodity for all of us. So whether you’re on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook, post consistently. The so-called experts tell us that we should only be posting x number of times per day/week. Listen, do what works for you. For me, I post on my blog 5 days a week, tweet every 20 minutes or so (thanks to Triberr) and post to Pinterest at least once a week. It’s all I have time for but it works for me. Consistency is the key.


  • Use graphics/images in all of your posts. Humans are, as a rule, visual people. We eat with our eyes first, or so says my husband (Retired Chef MR N). People identify with an image and sometimes that image has a bigger impact than the wording below.


  • If a follower/reader asks you a question on social media, respond. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweeted an author and get no response. Listen, you’re not as busy as Harlan Coben or Jamie Oliver. Yet, both of these authors have responded to my tweets. It takes a few moments and yet has a huge impact on the reader.


  • Retweet/Like/Reblog on social media. Not only is this a great way to meet new people, it’s a sneaky marketing move to gain new followers. The more followers you have, the bigger your social media reach, the more likely you’ll find new readers to buy your books. I employ the Golden Rule on social media (do unto others as you would like done to you) and it really pays off.


  • Be real on social media. I know this sounds obvious but I’ve encountered so many authors who tell me they can’t be themselves online. “I can’t be myself, I’m an author.” Why not? I’m sure if Ernest Hemingway were alive today, he’d be spouting honest tweets in the middle of the night for all of us to see. My point is, you have to be yourself or else no one is going to read your books. Readers are attracted to a story, sure, but they first want to know about the author. Be real and let your followers see a little piece of yourself. I do this with my pics of baking/cooking and chatting with others on Twitter.


  • Don’t spam complete strangers on social media. What would Miss Manners say? We all hate spam and spammers are all over social media. I see a lot of authors send tweets to complete strangers about their book, myself included. It grates on my nerves because I’m receiving book sale info about a perfect stranger. Instead, start following people you’re interested in connecting with and once a conversation has been initiated, then maybe mention your book.


  • Use hashtags. I can’t emphasize this enough. We’re all busy and lead jam-packed lives. We sometimes only have a few minutes while waiting to pick up the kids from school or on a lunch break so we scroll through our feeds. We subscribe to hashtags and see what’s new. Hashtags are a great way to connect with people of similar interests. Some of my favorite book-related hashtags include: #books, #amreading, #FridayReads, #TuesdayBookBlog, #bookboost, #goodreads, etc.


  • Don’t ever, ever respond to a blogger/reviewer negatively on social media. It’s bound to happen. A reader/reviewer/blogger will not like your book. In fact, they may even bash you personally for no reason whatsoever. You’ll feel tempted to correct them or defend yourself. STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD/DEVICE! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen authors taking to social media in response to a bad review/comment. I call this authors behaving badly. Listen, there’s going to be plenty of readers who won’t love/get/understand/relate to/respect your book(s). It’s part of the being a writer/storyteller. How? Vent to your inner circle via email/text/phone but never by social media. You’ll never convince them and it will make you look unprofessional. Instead, go read a few raving reviews.


  • Use the Tupperware marketing approach.

In 1942, Earl Tupper developed his first bell shaped container; the brand products were introduced to the public in 1948. Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by the Tupperware party. The Tupperware Party allowed for women of the 1950s to work and enjoy the benefits of earning an income without completely taking away the independence granted to women during the Second World War when women first began entering the labor market, all the while keeping their focus in the domestic domain. (Wikipedia)

Word of Mouth marketing is one of the best marketing strategies, especially for authors, because it’s organic and driven by honest customers. Imagine you’re at a dinner party and the topic turns to books. What’s everyone been reading? You then begin to share with everyone at the party about that book you just finished. People pay attention because there’s nothing false about it, just your opinion. No hidden agenda, no secret business dealings, just one reader’s opinion. Authors need to tap into this marketing ploy and here’s how: Ask your readers to leave a review online and if they liked it, tell at least two friends about it. Now, there’s no way to track it but that’s the beauty of it. You’re asking the reader to help you in a very important way. Suddenly, they have an active role, not a passive one. Think organic, think natural, think honest. At the end of the day, that’s how books sell: word of mouth.


It’s time to take these easy marketing techniques and put them into practice. Get real on social media and watch your readership grow. It might take some time and planning but then anything worth doing takes time. It takes years of pressure and patience to create a diamond. Trust me, it’s worth it.


Do you have any questions and/comments about social media marketing? I’d love to hear from you. If you know someone who might enjoy this article, please share using the buttons below.

Let’s bring back the social in social media!

couple N N Light

N.N. Light is the best-selling husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

Top of 2016 #5: Ways to the Support the Author in Your Life #ASMSG #IARTG #amwriting

Fellow Author Charles E. Yallowitz nails it on the head with this post. I see many authors nod their head in agreement. So many times, people don’t understand how important it is to support authors/writers.


Legends of Windemere

(Originally posted HERE.)

Yahoo Image Search Yahoo Image Search

Many of us have seen the above picture and it’s right.  That is a great way to support an author that you enjoy and want to see them continue.  Yet, there is another area of support that I wanted to touch on.  What do you do if the author in question isn’t a favorite, but part of your non-cyberspace circle?  Maybe a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or somebody that you interact with outside of a computer.  Is there anything else you can do besides the following phrase?

“I support you and know you can do it.”

This is a powerful phrase, but you have to be ready to back it up with actions such as simply telling others about the book or even beta reading if asked.  Don’t say it and follow up by asking about the author’s Plan B, grilling them…

View original post 1,304 more words

2nd Annual N. N. Light #HolidayGiftGuide: Shop Today and Save! #books


The Holiday Season has officially begun and we’re celebrating by launching the 2nd Annual N. N. Light Holiday Gift Guide:

Shop today and save!

Over 100 books by award-winning/bestselling authors in several genres. Books make great gifts and our gift guide is Santa approved! 😉

Seasons Greetings!

Stop Running Scared, Writers! Write Fearlessly #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG




I’ve read several articles recently about writers who are running scared. With various political groups and governments around the world clamping down on free speech and censoring writers, it is understandable why fellow writers are scared and unsure what to do.

I was born to write and to tell my stories. Writing about spiritual warfare, homelessness, food banks and hunger are not very popular topics. Throw in spirituality and it makes many people nervous.

Did it stop me? No, I’m a storyteller.

From the beginning of time, there have been storytellers, people who orally shared history and beliefs with others. I imagine it started with the cave dwellers. From there, we see history being told and retold. Homer did it in the Greek Empire. All religious writings have first started with storytellers. History, as we know it today, is a result of many storytellers writing down what they witnessed.

They were fearless in their writing and they have a message for us writers today:

Write it all down, no matter how frightened you may feel. You have a unique story to tell.

Do you have a story to tell but are scared to tell it? Write it down. Get it out of you and onto paper. Then you have choices on how to share your story (publishing comes later). The worst thing you can do is to keep it bottled up inside.

Write fearlessly.

You’re a storyteller like some of the great ones from history (Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Homer, Mark Twain, Erich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Geoffrey Chaucer, Anne Frank and many others).

Try this writing exercise:

-Paying attention to world events, what disturbs you? Is there something that makes your blood boil and you wonder why nothing has been done about it? Write it down.


-In your corner of the world, what do you fear? What makes your stomach churn? Write it down.


-What have you been wanting to speak up about but have been afraid? Write it down.


-Injustices are all around you. If you could write a story highlighting one, what would it be?



When you are done writing, ponder your answers. Take a day or several to think about it. I know you will be surprised by your answers. Those answers are all story ideas burning in your soul.

Take those thoughts and write your story. Be the storyteller you were meant to be!!!

I know you can do it and together we will be a band of storytellers!

Until next time,


No Tricks Just Treats on POTL Blog #POTLReads #books #authors



Happy October from Mr. N and Mrs. N! October is one of our favourite months and we thought it would be fun to dedicate 31 days to books and authors. No tricks, we promise.

Are you looking for new books and authors to discover?

You’ve come to the right spot! All month long, we’ll be featuring books and authors from all genres. We’re also chatting about it on Twitter. So feel free to tag #POTLReads and tell us what you’re reading, authors to binge-read or anything book-related.

If you missed a post, all you have to do is click on the smiling pumpkin graphic on the upper left side.

Authors, want to be featured this month? Send us an email and we can schedule you: 

Happy Reading!!!

N. N. Light

How To Know Which #WritingTips to Follow and Ignore #amwriting #TuesdayBookBlog #ASMSG

Peanuts Writing Advice

Writing advice/tips are everywhere.  Everyone is an expert, even Lucy from Peanuts.  How do you know what to follow and what to ignore?  The simple answer is to listen to your inner voice and to trust your instincts.  Let’s look at a few examples.

One of the most asked pieces of advice people ask is, “How do I become a writer,”.  In one camp there are the intellectual people.  They say that you must study grammar and writing via classes and workshops.  While I understand their concept, when it comes to creative writing (novel/prose/poetry) that logical approach doesn’t work.  William Shakespeare didn’t take classes at Oxford to become a writer.  He wrote his experiences and what he observed in Elizabethan times.

Another camp are what I call the free spirits.  I fall into this group and my simple answer is, “If you can write something down on paper and share it with others, you are a writer.”  Writers write.  You either are or you aren’t.  It’s not as complicated as people make it out to be.



“I never have time to write.”  This is a big issue for many writers and trust me, I understand.  I have struggled with this too and I can tell you that what works for me may not work for you.  Each writer’s life is different and each person has their own time perimeters.

I read an article a long time ago talking about writer’s block.  It showcased 20 writers and their helpful tips for overcoming writer’s block.  One of the tips really made me see writing in a whole new light.  She said, “I always tell my writing students to write 300 words every day.  It is basically a page and everyone has time to write one page.”

I thought about it and it soon became my writing goal.  I promised myself to write 300 words every day.  I put a sticky note up in my writer’s nook and looked at it every day.  I can tell you all that I was true to my word and kept that promise.  I wrote 300 words each and every day.  Some days I did more and some days I struggled to make those 300 words.  I did it and I felt so proud of myself.

Ask yourself, what word count would be appropriate for me?  

Don’t say 1,000 words if you cannot do it.  Commit to a word count and make sure that it is not too lofty.  Don’t make it too easy for yourself, either.  This is a writing goal and it must propel you forward.


time management for writers


Time management is another key tip I learned from that article.  Being a writer is all about time management.  Many of us do have a day job, families and responsibilities.  Making time for writing can be hard but when you make it a priority, it becomes easy.  Schedule a block of your day/night in your time management planner and call it “writing”.  Tell your family/friends/roommates so that they know not to bother or interrupt you.

My writing time is in the afternoon from 1-4 pm.  I chose that time of the day to write because it works best for my life.  I shut off all the distractions and I concentrate on writing.

Writing advice is everywhere and it can be overwhelming.  Trust me, I’ve been there.

The best advice I can give you is to read everything out there, figure out what works for you and then trust your inner voice.  It will always guide you and never steer you wrong.

Remember the writing profession is constantly evolving.  Learn something new today.


POTL 2nd anniversary


E-book Sale:

During the month of September, Princess of the Light is on sale for the super-low price of $.99 USD. 100% of the proceeds during this time will go directly to our local food bank to help feed children and families in need. This is the first time Princess of the Light has ever been this low and who knows when it will be this low again.



Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.



Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.


Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.


Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?


Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble:

Amazon Canada:

Amazon UK:



iTunes/ iBooks:





couple N N Light


Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

100% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:









Amazon Author Page:

Independent Author Network:


The Statistics of Life: Follow Your Heart #inspiration #motivation #affirmations

odds life

What are the odds of success, happiness, contentment, peace, etc. in this world?

I hear a lot of statistics daily:

World Population: 7 billion

1 in 3 Americans are very happy

5% of authors bring in royalties over $100,000 per year

55% of marriages end in divorce

Does that scare me?

Not really. In fact, when told that the odds are against me, I tend to try harder. Call it ego or stubbornness, when told I can’t do something just makes me go after it more.

I work in an industry that the odds are stacked astronomically against me. The Big 5 publishers are the House and I’m supposed to lose all my chips. Little do they know, I hold two aces.

Ace #1: I’m a born storyteller and I’m a published author.

Ace #2: Success for authors is all a matter of perspective. Do I make $100,000 on royalties? No. Am I happy and proud of my work? YES!

 I beat the odds and accomplished something that many writers only dream of. I can hold my books in my hands.

What about you? Are you going after a dream and feeling a little defeated? 

Stand up and shout to the world:

I don’t care what the odds are; I’m going to succeed!

Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.


P. S. We’re going away for Labour Day Weekend and will return on Tuesday, September 6th. Have a lovely relaxing weekend! 

#ThrowbackThursday: STOP! Step Away From the Computer! #writers #authors #IARTG #tbt

This reblog is especially for all writers, authors and bloggers. I wrote this over two years ago and the message still applies today.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about people replying to reviews and as an author/reviewer I feel I need to send this message:


I beg you, please stop the insanity!

(Read on…)

Book Reviewers

Hey everyone!  I thought I would touch on a very sensitive topic to most writers and authors… book reviews.  GASP  I know I know, it’s a taboo topic but I feel this needs to be addressed.

As most of you know, I love Twitter.  I am on it for most of the day and I use it for work as well as leisure.  Anyway, I have noticed lately more and more authors are tweeting to book reviewers.  It’s not a simple, “Hey thanks for the book review”.  It’s more like, “why did you give me a bad book review” or “why are you ruining my life” or “you suck”.

As an author of an upcoming book, I can sympathize with authors who attack reviewers for a bad review.  I mean, I get the gut-wrenching pain that comes with a bad review.  But the reality is, bad reviews happen.  I hate to burst your bubble but not everyone is going to love your book.  In fact, some will loathe it.

How do you deal with a bad review?

Take a look at the quote above and visualize it.  Now take a snapshot of it in your mind and think of that every time you see a bad review.

Here’s another way to deal with a bad review: go onto Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads and look up your favorite book.  Now read through the reviews.  You will find some people love it like you do and some will hate it.  It’s called subjectivity and it’s a reality in the publishing industry.

Whatever it takes to gain some perspective, do it!  Having a bad review will not change how fabulous your book is.  In fact, the more people rip your book, the more intriguing it is for a reader to read it.  Controversy has always ruled the top of the bestseller charts!

Do NOT under any circumstances respond and/or retaliate against a book reviewer or a bad book review!!!  Not only is it unprofessional, it is simply in poor taste.  Be the better person and ignore it.:-)

If you found this blog post informative, please share it using the buttons below!

Keep smiling!

MRS N, the Author

#Authors, Save 50% on July Ad Buttons and Get Seen by Millions! #ASMSG #IARTG #Books

N. N. Light Author Promotions (1)


Every author (traditional, small pub or indie) knows how hard it is to reach readers and one way to create buzz is to advertise. We at N. N. Light Author Promotions understand that and are here to help.


kindle sale
Photo Credit:


We’re offering our Advertisement Buttons for only $11.50 USD in July. It’s a perfect time to increase your readership and you save 50% off regular price. You have the opportunity to advertise two books/ads. All we need is two book covers/ads along with a link for each book/ad.

Our social media reach is over 30 million and we get over 200 hits per day.


Fill out the form below (or send us an email and we’ll invoice you via Paypal. Spots fill up fast so sign up today.

. @BarbCaffrey Needs Immediate Help Here with Relocation #ASMSG #donate #MFRWAuthor

If you’re able, please help support a fellow author. She’s about to be homeless and in need of assistance. Whatever you can do to help (donate, reblog, share on social media, etc.) will be most appreciated.

We’re doing what we can.

With utmost gratitude,

Mr. N and Mrs. N

Barb Caffrey's Blog

Folks, one of the reasons I’ve been cagey for months here at my blog is because I’ve been enduring hardship. I can’t go into that many details as most of them are not mine to tell; all I can tell you is that in seven days, I am going to lose my home. And I need immediate help to relocate, get set back up on my feet, and to continue to create — because my goodness, CHANGING FACES is due shortly.

All of this upheaval is not conducive to creativity, to put it mildly. But I need somehow to get it done anyway.

Of course, I don’t know how I get all this done. Right now, I feel overwhelmed, overmatched, and extremely frustrated. I have tried very hard in my current situation to make everything right, and yet I could not do it.

I’m hamstrung in many ways trying to…

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What Inspires You? Mrs. N’s Top 10 Inspirational Things #inspiration #affirmations

Inspire is an honor


No matter where you live or what you believe in, inspiration is all around you.

It may be something you read or someone you talk to. Inspiration is just waiting for you to discover it. For me, I hunt for inspiration like mushroom foragers hunt for truffles. I focus all of my energy and sniff it out. Here is a top ten list of things that inspire me:

1- My husband, MR N, inspires me each and every day. He inspired me to write every day and I inspire him to write. He continues to inspire me each day. “Spread the Light, darling,” he whispers to me as he kisses me good-bye before he leaves for work. He empowers me to be the best I can be.

2- The Walking Man inspires me every day. Who is that, you may be asking. In our debut novel, Mary meets a man known in the town of Golden Lake as the Walking Man. He is a homeless man who walks. He is based on a real homeless man that I discovered in my neighborhood. I don’t know much about him except he shuns contact and walks everywhere. Even though he doesn’t talk to me, I show him kindness. He inspires me to spread the Light so I can help others just like him.

3- Twitter inspires me. I have almost 6,500 followers and throughout the day, I get an inspiring photo, tweet or quote. It lights my heart, imagination and mind on fire!

tree in field

4- Nature inspires me. I go for a morning walk and I surround myself with nature and wildlife. It inspires me to grow beyond my fingertips and to persevere no matter the weather.

5- Past/Present Authors inspire me. No matter what I am dealing with, it is helpful that scores of successful authors have dealt with it too. Publishing is a small community and my fellow authors inspire me each and every day to be bold in my writing.

Daddy and me

6- My father inspires me. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and wish he was here with me. He passed away in 1998 and he inspires me to believe in myself. “You can do anything, angel.” I still hear his voice echo in my head.

7- My faith inspires me. I follow the Golden Rule and I do unto others as I would want them to do unto me. I don’t expect anything in return for being kind but it inspires me to be kind in spite of others.

8- The Naysayers inspire me. There have been people in my life that have told me that I couldn’t do something. To them, I say thank you. If not for them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The constant negative wave surges me forward to achieving my dreams.

9- Music inspires me. My personal favorites include Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Janis Joplin, George Thorogood, P!nk, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jars of Clay, Nickelback and Lynyrd Skynyrd.


10- Art inspires me. No matter the form it takes, I have always found inspiration in art. Instead of ink and paper, they tell a story with paint and canvas. So beautiful!

No matter what form inspiration takes, allow it to inspire you to be the best person you can be!

What inspires you? Share in the comments below. 

Are You a Shy Person? Me Too! Let’s Overcome it Together #inspiration #shyness #affirmations


Confession: I am a shy person.

I have always been shy and my nose buried deep in a book.

Looking back, I wished I was more outgoing and when I turned thirty, I decided I was going to get out of my shell.  I was a manager at a bookstore and I absolutely loved my job!  I had a lot of friends and started doing things outside my comfort zone.  I met MR N and the rest, they say, is history.

When I published for the first time, a publicist asked me for a picture.  I panicked.  My shyness took over and I huddled in a corner.  MR N grabbed my hand and he convinced me that it was okay.  After battling with myself, I decided to give it a go.

Why did I do it? 

I didn’t want to be the shy girl I used to be.  I was living my dream of being a published author and NOTHING (not even me) was going to stand in my way! 🙂

I love this quote and it speaks the truth, especially to shy people.

The one surefire way to overcome shyness is to get involved with something you are passionate about.  You’ll focus on your passion and forget about being shy.  Trust me, it totally works!

The next time you are feeling shy, focus on something else and you will be confident!

🙂 MRS N 🙂

Think Like an Artist by @WillGompertzBBC #bookreview #arts #creativity

Think Like An Artist


Title: Think Like an Artist… and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life

Author: Will Gompertz

Genre: Arts & Photography


Book Blurb:

From international bestselling author Will Gompertz, Think Like an Artist is a guide to increasing creativity and productivity with help from some of the greatest artists throughout history.


How do artists think? Where does their creativity originate? How can we, too, learn to be more creative? BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz seeks answers to these questions in his exuberant, intelligent, witty, and thought-provoking style. Think Like an Artist identifies 10 key lessons on creativity from artists that range from Caravaggio to Warhol, Da Vinci to Ai Weiwei, and profiles leading contemporary figures in the arts who are putting these skills to use today.


After getting up close and personal with some of the world’s leading creative thinkers, Gompertz has discovered traits that are common to them all. He outlines basic practices and processes that allow your talents to flourish and enable you to embrace your inner Picasso—no matter what you do for a living.


With wisdom, inspiration, and advice from an author named one of the 50 most original thinkers in the world by Creativity magazine, Think Like an Artist is an illuminating view into the habits that make people successful. It’s time to get inspired and think like an artist!


Includes a full-color pull-out insert featuring works of art discussed.


My Review:


Looking for an inspirational/motivational book? Look no further than Think Like an Artist! Creativity is something that is hard to describe but you’ll know it when you see it. As an artist myself, I find it difficult to explain to others my creative process; it just happens. But when I’m stuck in a rut and/or my muse has flown the coop, I look to other artists for inspiration.


Think Like an Artist is a creativity bible.  BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz tackles what it takes to be creative from some of the leading artists (from Andy Warhol to Da Vinci to contemporary artists I haven’t heard from until now). His top ten list will inspire you to never settle and reach for the stars. I loved the quotes as well as the practical applications.


Writers/Authors will especially find this book inspiring. In the same vein as Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Will Gompertz provokes and changes your thinking while inspiring your creative side. One of the best books I’ve ever read!


Thank you to Abrams Books and Netgalley for giving me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


My Rating:  5+ stars


Buy it now:




Author Biography:

Will Gompertz, previously a director of the Tate Gallery, is now the BBC’s arts editor and the author of What Are You Looking At? 50 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye. He has written extensively for the Guardian and the Times. He lives in England.


Social Media Links:


Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Book Marketing 101: 3 Tips to Promote Your Book(s) Without Driving Away Readers #authors #marketing

Book Marketing 101 - NN Light

“You’ve just published a book. Congratulations! You’ve done something that many have tried and few have succeeded. Give yourself a pat on the back… then put on your thinking cap. It’s time for the next step: promoting your book.”

Ruth A. Casie invited me to appear on her blog to talk about book marketing for all authors. I offer three tried and true tips to promote your book(s) without driving away readers/followers.

Check it out and then come back and let me know what tips you have on book promotion: 

Question Time: What do you struggle with the most when it comes to book promotion? I’d love to hear from you. I’m happy to answer any and all questions, too.

Mrs. N aka N. N. Light

Run, Don’t Walk Toward Your Dream Life #inspiration #dreams



Every one of us has a dream life.  It could be retiring to an island paradise or traveling to Paris.  It could be writing a best selling novel or composing the next great symphony.  It could be climbing a famous mountain or being one with nature.  It could be getting married and having children.  It could be a dream career or not working at all.  No matter what it is, I encourage you to run towards your dream life.  Be confident.  Be the person you’ve always dreamt of being.

I am thrilled to say that I am living my dream life.  It started the day I first started writing, Princess of the Light, and it continues to this day. I’m proud to say I’ve published three books and writing my fourth.  With every step of the publishing process, I am having the time of my life! I love being an indie author and the total freedom it gives me.  Sure, it is hard work and sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

What is your dream life?  What is it that tugs at your heart?  Whatever it is, go after it!  You will regret it if you don’t at least try.  It may seem impossible at first but trust me, with confidence and determination, your dream life will become possible!  Once you get a taste of it, you will crave more and dream bigger. 🙂

Start today!  What are you waiting for?  You never know until you give it a go!

MRS N, the Author 🙂

Ways to Support the Author in Your Life #ASMSG #IARTG #IndieAuthorsBeSeen

My fellow author has some very insightful advice for authors, their circle of friends/family and followers. Saying something as simple as, “You can do it” or “You matter” goes a long way to supporting an author.

MRS N aka N. N. Light

Legends of Windemere

Yahoo Image Search Yahoo Image Search

Many of us have seen the above picture and it’s right.  That is a great way to support an author that you enjoy and want to see them continue.  Yet, there is another area of support that I wanted to touch on.  What do you do if the author in question isn’t a favorite, but part of your non-cyberspace circle?  Maybe a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or somebody that you interact with outside of a computer.  Is there anything else you can do besides the following phrase?

“I support you and know you can do it.”

This is a powerful phrase, but you have to be ready to back it up with actions such as simply telling others about the book or even beta reading if asked.  Don’t say it and follow up by asking about the author’s Plan B, grilling them about sales made, pointing…

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Writing Tip of the Year: Brainstorming #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG



Brainstorming is one of the best-kept secrets writers have. I thought it might be fun to reveal some of the techniques and tips to effective brainstorming for this week’s Writing Wednesday Workshop. Let’s get started:

Definition according to Wikipedia: Brainstorming is a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its member(s). The term was popularized by Alex Faickney Osborn in the 1953 book Applied Imagination. Osborn claimed that brainstorming was more effective than individuals working alone in generating ideas, although more recent research has questioned this conclusion. Today, the term is used as a catch all for all group ideation sessions.


My definition is a little more relaxed: Brainstorming is the creative activity by which writers write down ideas, plots, characters in order to map out a book/article.


It sounds simple enough but many writers get stuck on the application of it. I believe they get hung up on what they learned in English class years ago and think it has to be a very structured thing. The truth is what works for one writer may not work for another. Some like to use bulletin boards while others like to use lists. There is software available too that can help you. Myself, I use sticky notes and notepads. When I come up with an idea, I write it down. Later, I compile them together in an organized fashion.

I have found over the years some tips to help you get started:

– Let go and empty your mind. Think of brainstorming in the same way you think of free writing. You are an artist with an empty canvas. Close your eyes and let your mind paint it for you. When you let go, you allow the ideas to flow and all you have to do is get them down before they disappear.

– Free write. I have found this extremely useful when plotting out characters and conflict. Sometimes the ideas get stuck in your head and need an outlet to be freed. This is also useful when fleshing out characters.

– Get some exercise. Go for a walk or just up and down the stairs. Getting away from the computer screen can do wonders for you. When you are concentrating on something else, your mind is free to wander.

– Have pen and paper around you at all times. I can’t tell you how many times I have been struck with an idea and I never have a pen. I have a pad of sticky notes and a pen in every room in my house. If I am going outside, I always have a pen handy.

– Never edit your brainstorm ideas right away. This is a big no-no. Write them all down and let them percolate for a few days. What sounds like a horrible idea at first may turn out to be brilliant later on.

– Talk with your CPs and/or writer buddies. Sometimes talking about your book with others can inspire you. A friend may have an idea or suggestion.

– Listen to music to get you in the mood. Brainstorming doesn’t have to be boring. Writing a love scene? Put on some love tunes. Writing a death scene? Listen to some classical/jazz/heavy metal music. Let the music inspire you.

I open the workshop to my fellow writers. What tips do you have to help with brainstorming? We’re all one big support group! I know I love learning something new to help my writing!

Brainstorming is fun and I love how creative I can get with it. Don’t overthink it; just let it flow.

Have a great writing week!

Until next time,

MRS N aka N. N. Light

*** This is was the most viewed writing post on this blog for 2015. I found that interesting. Go forth, writers, and brainstorm! ***